United States District Court, D. Idaho
PLANNED PARENTHOOD OF THE GREAT NORTHWEST AND THE HAWAIIAN ISLANDS, a Washington Corporation, Plaintiff,
LAWRENCE G. WASDEN, in his official capacity as Attorney General of Idaho; JAN M. BENNETTS, in her official capacity as Ada County Prosecuting Attorney; GRANT P. LOEBS, in his official capacity as Twin Falls County Prosecuting Attorney; THE INDIVIDUAL MEMBERS OF THE IDAHO STATE BOARDS OF MEDICINE AND NURSING, in their official capacities; and RUSSELL S. BARON, in his official capacity as Director of the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare, Defendants.
MEMORANDUM DECISION AND ORDER
C. NYE U.S. DISTRICT COURT JUDGE
before the Court is Plaintiff Planned Parenthood of the Great
Northwest and the Hawaiian Islands' (“Planned
Parenthood”) Expedited Motion for a Preliminary
Injunction Pending Appeal. Dkt. 30. Having reviewed the
record and briefs, the Court finds that the facts and legal
arguments are adequately presented. Accordingly, in the
interest of avoiding further delay, and because the Court
finds that the decisional process would not be significantly
aided by oral argument, the Court will decide the Motion
without oral argument. Dist. Idaho Loc. Civ. R.
7.1(d)(2)(ii). For the reasons set forth below, the Court
finds good cause to DENY the Motion.
August 3, 2018, Planned Parenthood filed a Motion for
Preliminary Injunction (Dkt. 7) seeking to enjoin the State
of Idaho from enforcing the Abortion Complications Reporting
Act (“the Act”) during the pendency of this
litigation. On October 22, 2018, the Court issued a Decision
denying Planned Parenthood's Motion. Dkt. 24. On October
31, 2018, Planned Parenthood filed an interlocutory appeal
seeking review of the Court's Decision. Dkt. 25.
November 2, 2018, Planned Parenthood filed a Motion seeking a
preliminary injunction pending their appeal of the
Court's Decision denying a preliminary injunction. Dkt.
30. The Court set an expedited briefing schedule on that
Motion. Dkt. 32. Briefing is now complete,  and the Motion is
ripe for consideration.
Federal Rules of Appellate Procedure provide that a party may
request a stay or seek an injunction in the district court
during the pendency of an appeal of a district court order.
Fed. R. App. P. 8. Specifically, Rule 8(a)(1) requires that
the party seeking relief move first in the district court for
an injunction before seeking relief from the court of
appeals. Fed. R. App. P. 8(a)(1).
standard applied here is the same as before. A Plaintiff
seeking a preliminary injunction must establish that: (1)
they are likely to succeed on the merits; (2) they are likely
to suffer irreparable harm in the absence of preliminary
relief; (3) the balance of equities tips in their favor; and
(4) an injunction is in the public interest. Short v.
Brown, 893 F.3d 671, 675 (9th Cir. 2018) (internal
Court noted in its prior Decision,  the Ninth Circuit weighs the
various factors of the preliminary injunction test “on
a sliding scale” and even if the plaintiffs have only
raised “‘serious questions going to the
merits'-that is, less than a ‘likelihood of
success' on the merits-a preliminary injunction may still
issue so long as ‘the balance of hardships tips
sharply in the plaintiff's favor' and
the other two factors are satisfied.” Short v.
Brown, 893 F.3d 671, 675 (9th Cir. 2018) (italics in
original, underlining added).
Decision, the Court found that while there was a
“chance of success” concerning Planned
Parenthood's constitutional challenges, it failed to show
that these questions could not be determined through the
normal course of litigation and that irreparable harm would
ensue in the absence of an injunction. Planned Parenthood had
the burden of showing “immediate threatened injury,
” see Caribbean Marine Servs. Co. v.
Baldridge, 844 F.2d 668, 674 (9th Cir. 1988), but failed
to do so. As the Court noted, the Supreme Court has held that
in order to obtain a preliminary injunction,
“plaintiffs must establish that irreparable harm is
likely, not just possible. All. for the Wild
Rockies v. Cottrell, 632 F.3d 1127, 1131 (9th Cir. 2011)
(emphasis in original); Winter v. Nat. Res. Def. Council,
Inc., 555 U.S. 7, 23 (2008).
as the Court originally found, while there is always the
possibility that harm may occur, (Dkt. 24,
at 21), the Court finds now, as it did previously, that this
possibility is unlikely in the present case. First, the Court
found in its Decision that the reporting requirements-more
specifically, the confidentiality provision of the Act-were
enforceable. Accordingly, no relevant personal or identifying
information (about either patients or providers) will be
disclosed in the process of reporting under the Act. No. harm
will occur from providing the information required under the
it is unlikely that providers will be subject to professional
discipline, or any adverse action by the State, under the
Act. While Planned Parenthood does not seem to believe the
State's position-and as the Court noted, there is some
confusion on the State's position in relation to the
wording of the Act itself and the instructions to the
Act-there is discretion built into the statute and a
provider's differing-but honest- medical determination
will not be prosecuted. The State will only impose sanctions